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Boating in Rhode Island: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Louis Karpel on
Boating in Rhode Island: Everything You Need to Know

Cruising on the water is one of the best things you can do in Rhode Island. Whether you live in the Ocean State or are just visiting for a few days and want to make the most of it, Rhode Island offers over four hundred miles of coastline and many state parks, lakes, and even islands to explore. Let the adventure begin! 

Boating in Rhode Island: Your Complete Guide

Whether you’re a Rhode Island boater or a visitor, you’re going to love the variety of boating spots available in RI. Are you into fishing? Want to just hang out on the water with your family? There’s something for everyone in this picturesque state. 

Best Boating Destinations in Rhode Island

Rose Island

The only way you can reach this 18-acre island is by boat — and you can easily make a day trip out of it. You can cruise around the island for a bit and then beach your boat to start exploring. There is a lighthouse (you can even make reservations to spend the night), an area for canoeing and kayaking, and fantastic bird watching spots. To visit the island, you have to pay a small fee to the Rose Island Foundation. 

Mackerel Cove

This gorgeous RI boating spot is a hit with both adults and children. A real hidden gem, you can simply relax on your boat and enjoy the beautiful view or get active with your loved ones. Mackerel Cove is a great spot for snorkeling and the waters near the shore are fantastic for swimming. 

Gooseberry Beach 

A family-friendly spot, this public Newport beach is a great choice for a tranquil day out on the water. The ocean is awesome for swimming with your kids because the waves are minimal. 

Potter Cove

Located on Prudence Island in Portsmouth, this local favorite offers a ton of things to do — in addition to a great boating experience. Explore beautiful beaches, go kayaking, or try to catch some fish. The world is your oyster! If you’re into hanging out with other boaters, there is an Aquapalooza held there every year and it attracts over a hundred people at the same time. 

Nanaquaket Pond

Nanaquaket Pond is a smart spot for a stop if you’re boating on the Sakonnet River in Tiverton. Located next to the Nanaquaket Bridge, this lovely pond is known for its tranquil waters and Evelyn’s Drive-In, a local restaurant with a dock so you can get your order to go and enjoy on your boat. Try their clam cakes! 

Fishing in RI: Best Spots & Things to Know

Rhode Island is a must-visit destination for all fishing enthusiasts alike. From hidden local gems to large state parks, there are many amazing spots to explore. Here are some of the best ones. 

Best Saltwater Fishing Spots in Rhode Island

Haines Memorial State Park

This beautiful RI fishing spot is a favorite with the locals and a must-visit for your fishing trip. It has many amenities, including boat ramps, picnic tables, and bathrooms (since it is a part of a state park). 

Beavertail State Park

Some of the species that can be caught here from your boat include bluefish, blackfish, and false albacore. You also have the option of fishing from the shore to catch striped bass. If you’re fishing from the shore, be careful not to slip as it is quite rocky. Beware — this spot gets quite busy in the summer. 

Best Freshwater Fishing Spots in Rhode Island 

Watchaug Pond

Stretching over 570 acres, this fertile fishery offers many opportunities to go after the big catch. You will find an abundance of largemouth bass and black crappie here, as well as yellow perch and chain pickerel. There are boat ramps and parking available. 

Olney Pond

Olney Pond offers some of the best fishing in Rhode Island. It is located just a few miles away from Central Falls and is great for going after pickerel, largemouth bass, bluegill, and trout. The views are beautiful, the atmosphere is relaxing, and there are boat ramps and picnic areas available. This spot is also known as Lincoln Woods State Park Pond. 

Stafford Pond

Stocked with trout multiple times a year, this 480-acre pond features broad and open waters with some coves at the north end. Perfect for a relaxing day on the water.

Do You Need a Boating License in Rhode Island? 

There is no official Rhode Island boating license, but all Rhode Island residents must pass boating safety education if they were born after January 1, 1986. After passing the Boating Safety Challenge exam, you will be given an official RI Boater Education Card, which you will have to carry with you whenever you’re out on the water. 

If you are not a Rhode Island resident and are only visiting temporarily, you are exempt from this requirement as long as you satisfy the license requirements in your home state. 

Best Boat Accessories for Fishing in Rhode Island

If you’re getting ready for a Rhode Island fishing trip (or even just a boating trip!), this is the perfect time to upgrade your boat with new accessories and gadgets. Here are some of our top picks. 

RTIC Cooler and Yeti Cooler Pads

Cooler pads kill two birds with one stone — they instantly upgrade the look and feel of your cooler as well as offer a reliable and portable non-slip surface. It’s one of the best accessories for fishing boats that will immediately elevate your boating experience. 

DEKit RTIC and Yeti cooler top pads are made with non-skid, exclusively cross-linked PE/EVA foam to last for years of adventures to come. Get your Yeti or RTIC cooler pad today. 

Custom Helm Pads

A must-have fishing boat accessory, helm pads help you get relief for your tired feet after long hours on the water. But helm pads for boats were not created equal. 

DEKit helm pads feature a brushed texture, anti-slip and anti-fatigue foam, and closed cell structure to dissipate heat so you can enjoy fishing in absolute comfort. Backed with 3M™ pressure activated adhesive, they are easy to install, too. Shop DEKit helm pads today

Fish Ruler

Looking for some cool stuff for your boat? A foam fish ruler is a great accessory that will make the experience of measuring your catch out on the water completely hassle-free. 

DEKit fish rulers for boats are easy to install and you will never have to worry about a lost ruler again. Get yours now. 

Custom Boat Floor

When it comes to boat floor padding, you deserve the absolute best. High-quality marine flooring will not only protect your boat floor from wear and tear, but will also make your boat look smart and feel comfortable to use. 

One of the best marine decking materials is foam. DEKit premium non-skid boat decking comes with several advantages over other non-skid decking for boats, such as being: 

  • Anti-slip 
  • Non-absorbent 
  • UV-stable
  • Oil-resistant
  • Antibacterial and antifungal 
  • Able to dissipate heat
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean 
  • Made for both freshwater and saltwater use
  • Custom designed with over 50 colors and custom logos and patterns for completely unique decking foam 

Learn more about DEKit premium boat non-skid flooring here. 

DEKit in Rhode Island

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